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Athletic Association praises work on Foley Field, congratulates academic success - The Red and Black : Sports

Athletic Association praises work on Foley Field, congratulates academic success

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Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 7:12 pm | Updated: 12:32 pm, Fri Mar 22, 2013.

It was mostly business as usual for Greg McGarity, but the Georgia athletic director took pause to reflect on the accomplishments of his athletic program.

As McGarity convened with President Michael Adams and the Georgia athletic board executive committee on Wednesday to discuss the current state of the Bulldogs, ranging from on-field achievement to academic success. In particular, he drew the board's attention to one of the school's recently completed projects: the renovations made to Foley Field.

"It really is a tremendous improvement," he said. "[Foley Field] is ready for the home opener next Wednesday. It's really improvation-driven and presents a totally different picture for fan experience. We appreciate the funding to get those things done."

Among the upgrades to the home of the Diamond Dogs are an all-new scoreboard, a new tree-lined backdrop, a new seating area above the bullpen and two re-done plazas along the outfield wall.

McGarity also assured members of the board that the athletic program's budget was well-manicured, and that he would not be requesting additional funds from the University's financial reserves.

"We're in pretty good shape right now," he said. "We feel like hopefully with some unallocated monies leftover, we'll be able to do some things down the road."

Also on the agenda was a rundown of student-athlete performance in the classroom, handled by faculty athletics representative David Shipley.

"Good things since we met in September," Shipley said. "In regards to fall grades, we are up to 2.96, which is a 0.1 improvement over fall a year ago. Compared to fall of 2010, which was 2.91, that's a nice jump."

The biggest accomplishment for Bulldog student-athletes, however, was their heavy presence on the Southeastern Conference academic honor roll.

"We had 58 students on the SEC Honor Roll, the football team had 38 of them, which was best of all [SEC] football teams, so it was a good year on the field and in the classroom," Shipley said. "We finished second behind South Carolina, but [it] counts an extra sport — men's soccer — and when you subtract that from the numbers, Georgia has the most."

Shipley even gave the swimming team a shout out for its underwater rendition of the "Harlem Shake."

"[Several teams] are working on a video, so beware," he said. "I saw one posted on the AJC of the swimming team underwater, doing some dance. All in good fun, I think inspired by the Olympic swimmers that did the 'Call Me Maybe' [video]."

An area of concern for the board was the lack of student attendance. As a result, there is a plan to allot an unspecified number of cheaper tickets to young alumni (under age 40) to help fill the seats.

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